About Me

Hi, I'm Jennifer—an aspiring data scientist with a knack for solving complex problems.

I am a rising, 4th-year graduate student at the University of Arizona, where I study the formation of massive, ultra-diffuse galaxies. I use statistics, data visualization, machine learning, and image processing to solve major problems in galaxy evolution.

I grew up near Los Angeles, California and earned my bachelors degree in physics at UCLA. I love traveling, visiting family and friends, playing board games, and watching competitive figure skating. In the winter (when Tucson is not 117℉), I enjoy playing intramural volleyball with my astronomy cohort and cycling on Tucson's 120+ miles of continuous bike paths.

Here's my resume: Resume

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Ph.D. Disseration:
The Formation of Ultra-diffuse Galaxies

I use the Large Binocular Telescope (one of the world's largest telescopes) to measure the distances and stellar populations of massive, ultra-diffuse galaxies (UDGs).

In the new era of data-driven astronomy, we mine for UDGs in extensive, deep-imaging surveys. I use machine learning to predict their distances and to characterize their environments to determine whether the environment plays a role in quenching star formation in these massive galaxies.

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Teaching & Outreach

In Springs 2017 and 2018, I was the Head Teaching Assistant for 2 courses: The Physical Universe (ASTR 170B) and Cosmology (ASTR 201). I gave selected lectures, aided in course planning, graded assignments, and held biweekly office hours and exam reviews.

I mentor undergraduate women through the Tucson Women in Astronomy mentorship program. Furthermore, I helped facilitate educator development workshops for adult girl scout leaders to help educators incorporate STEM education into scouting activities.

At UCLA, I served on the board of the physics and astronomy clubs. I was the astronomy club president in my junior year, facilitating outreach activities for local K-12 schoolchildren.

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Past Projects

Here is a brief list of my contributions to several past research projects:

Masters Thesis:
Spectroscopy of Ultra-diffuse Galaxies in the Coma Cluster

I confirmed the first set of ultra-diffuse galaxies (UDGs) since their discovery in the Coma Cluster in 2015. I measured their redshifts and the average metallicity and ages of the stellar population. I also discovered the first cluster UDG with gas.

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Senior Thesis:
Separating the Disk and Jet Activities of Quasars

I modeled the simultaneous accretion disk and relativisitic jet activity of 15 flat spectrum radio quasars. I built a data reduction pipeline for the Lick, PARITEL, and the 2.1-meter Telescopes, which reduces the optical and infrared imaging data and performs differential photometry on our targets.

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AGN Variability in the Hubble CANDELS Survey

I modeled Hubble's point spread function using TinyTim. I simulated the AGN detection limits and spurious source fractions for every field in the CANDELS mosaics.

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Stacking Spectra of Dense Gas Tracers in the Antennae Galaxies

I extracted faint signals of dense gas tracers by stacking spectra corrected for radial velocity. I analyzed the variations in dense gas across the extreme star forming regions in the galaxy merger.

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Finding Line-of-Sight Quasars to Study the Galactic Structure

I determined color-cuts for quasars by performing synthetic photometry on stellar and quasar libraries from redshifts z=0-7. The identified quasars were used to study foreground galactic structures.

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The Yields of Various Stellar Initial Mass Functions

I analyzed the chemical abundance yielded by the Salpeter, Chabrier, and Kroupa stellar initial mass functions.

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Galactic Inclinations and Winds

I verified correlations between the inclinations of isolated, spiral galaxies and observed galactic outflows using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS).

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